There’s a strong emphasis on helping Black boys avoid the school-to-prison pipeline, as they navigate the K-12 public education system. That effort tends to overshadow the less realized fact that Black girls also find themselves in the pipeline, which leads to the justice system instead of college.
NewsOne has focused in March on the challenges Black girls face in the K-12 public school system and looks at some of the solutions with noted experts in the field.
Like many, I was unaware of how steep the uphill climb is for many of our daughters. Scholars, like Kimberlé Crenshaw and Monique Morris, are shedding light on the “pushout” epidemic and the struggles of Black girls in schools across the nation.
Data from the U.S. Department of Education show that African-American K-12 students are 3.8 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions as White students.
In fact, the disparity in punishment between Black girls and White girls is significantly higher than the disparity between Black and White boys.
Black girls are suspended from school at six times the rate of White girls, compared to Black boys who are suspended three times more than White boys.
We profiled the African American Girls and Young Women Achievement Program in the Oakland Unified School District, where only 26.7 percent of ninth-grade Black girls read at grade level. Many of the girls come from low-income, single-parent homes. Some are transient, as their families struggle to obtain affordable housing, and are targets for sex traffickers.
Nzingha Dugas, the previous director of UC Berkeley’s African American Student Development Office, was tapped by the school district to spearhead the reversal. She spoke with us about the effort to turn around the situation.
Our “By The Numbers” info graphic will highlight the facts and figures behind Black girls entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
NewsOne contributor Monique Morris, author of “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” has created a tool kit with invaluable resources to prevent the demise of our daughters.
Our Vice President of News and Men’s Programming Jamilah Lemieux talks live on Facebook March 27 with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who has been a powerful advocate for Black girls. She will not only enlighten us about the factors pushing Black girls out of school, she’ll also share her thoughts on the solutions.
On March 30, I will speak with Rachelle Nelson in a Facebook live interview about the challenges and solutions to getting Black girls on track for lucrative careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).